No. 1 Longhorns seek Big 12 championship

Peter Sblendorio

After turning in one of the strongest regular seasons in school history, the Texas Longhorns men’s golf team will look to continue its dominance this weekend in Trinity at the 2012 Big 12 Conference Championship.

No. 1 Texas, winner of seven tournaments in the 2011-12 season, enters the Big 12 tournament as the favorite among the 10 competing teams. The Longhorns have won the conference championship title three times since its creation in 1997, when they came in first for three straight years from 2002-04. They are the only team in the conference to have won the tournament more than once, with nine-time champion Oklahoma State being the other.

Texas enters the Big 12 showdown playing well, winning three tournaments in a row before finishing in a tie for second place last weekend at the Aggie Invitational. It should be noted that the Longhorns were without freshman Jordan Spieth — the top ranked player in collegiate golf — in that tournament, as he was competing in PGA Tour Valero Texas Open with a sponsor’s exemption.

Spieth will be part of the five-man team this weekend for Texas, and he will aim to lead the Longhorns in the Big 12 tournament after a season in which he recorded sixth Top-5 finishes. Also competing for Texas will be senior Dylan Frittelli, who is ranked second among collegiate golfers and has turned in an extremely strong and consistent season. Junior Julio Vegas, senior Alex Moon and sophomore Toni Hakula will round out the playing field for the Longhorns.

The tournament, hosted by Oklahoma, will begin today and last through Sunday. The Longhorns are hoping to build on their success from the 2011-12 season and claim the top spot in the Big 12 Conference. Based off of their seven tournament victories this year, they seem poised to do so.